DIY Jenga Game of Gratitude

Jenga is one of our favourite games to play as a family. The traditional game of Jenga consists of a group of players taking turns turns to remove a block from a tower and then balancing their block on top of the same tower. As the game goes on, the tower becomes taller and increasingly unstable…and fun! The concept is easy enough for my youngest kids to grasp but challenging enough for my older kids, so it’s definitely a go-to on game night.


We try to create an ongoing attitude of gratitude in our home, so I took our love of Jenga and came up with a game I like to call a DIY Jenga Game of Gratitude to play around Christmas time each year. My family loves the tradition and having a chance to reflect upon the things they’re grateful for each year.

Here’s how to make your own set:


  • Jenga
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint (3 different colours)
  • Sharpie markers


Step 1: Buy Jenga. (You can find it at Target or Kmart or in many local toy stores.)

Step 2: Add blue painter’s tape around the ends of each Jenga block, leaving the tips bare for painting. You will just paint the tips. To amp up the festive feel we chose to add splashes of black, white and liquid gold. You can choose whatever colour scheme you wish. Note: If you use white, you will need to do 3-4 coats. For black and gold, 1-2 coats were enough. Make sure you paint the Jenga pieces more than 24 hours before you want to use them so they are dry.

Step 3: Get the whole family together to write what you are grateful for with a Sharpie on each Jenga piece. You can use words or photos. Writing words and/or photos of gratitude is a fun activity the entire family can enjoy prior to Christmas. Or, if you can choose, you can make this an activity on Christmas day where family and friends can participate, and then play the game on the same day/night.

Step 4: Stack the game and PLAY!

thanksgiving game of gratitude

jenga thanksgiving game of gratitude

As families play the game together, they can remember and reminisce on what they are grateful for, piece by piece. And, it’s a game that keeps on giving as families play throughout the year.

Game on!

Images via j. sorelle

More family activities you can play together: